Mamapumpkin???

I love green Once upon a time, she designed buildings and interiors of corporate offices and on the rare occasion, homes. Now, she cleans poop and is student of a patience management course. From the drawing board as a London Architect to the realities of Motherhood, she has certainly learned many lessons in humility. And then others.....

To succeed in the corporate world, first succeed with your kid as the happy boss. Seriously.

I love green

This blog is about Mamapumpkin: A crazy, kick-ass Mom who works full time juggling several jobs - the full-time paid job, the raising of her 2 kids (she gets paid in kind for this) and the volunteering job for various charity organisations and parenting websites. Needless to say, she gets very little sleep (3-5 hours per day, Margaret Thatcher who used to sleep 4 hours per day during her conservative career inspires this crazy lifestyle).

Mamapumpkin intends to change the working Mom landscape in Malaysia where working women can bring their children to the corporate office of a client and not be frowned upon.

I love green

She writes anything that comes out of her head, mostly without thinking first (since she already has to think at work!), which almost ALWAYS gets her into trouble (according to her husband, whom she considers the love of her life on a good day).

Her 2 pet monkeys drive her towards challenge after challenge, 24/7.....day after day.....and interestingly, her parents are Muslim, her in-laws Buddhist, she's Catholic and her Hubs, an Atheist. She's thinking her kids should be Hindu, just to complete the rainbow religion cycle.

Gotta love it.

She'd love to hear from you : Mamapumpkin at gmail dot com


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SMILE ALWAYS

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Ebola in Malaysia

Is Ebola in Malaysia? Who the hell knows. Apparently not but I never trust the local news so I am taking my own precautions. The reason I don’t trust the local news is because I know of several instances where not only very important issues go unreported but truth is slanted for political benefit. In fact, journalists from the media have told me themselves what it is like and how they have to just follow their Editor’s orders. It all boils down to the ruling party………..

Anyway, I have had a less than perfect year this year thus far but am still a survivor at large thanks to the introduction of Izumio Hydrogen Water and Lutein Caretenoids into my life. I seriously would be much worse off if it wasn’t for these 2 products that I have been consuming on a regular basis. I have not gotten sick at all this year. Every time I am about to, I up the dose of the Izumio Hydrogen water and voila, I am fine again.

I have had to deal with the stress of mean people bullying for 5 months, the death of 2 mothers in the last 2 months, a diagnosis of heart disease (this only means more money going out), having 2 kids at home full time and no maid since early March. I have organised 2 funerals and made post funeral arrangements for tomb stone designs and a pavilion for my MIL at the temple. All this takes time. I have had to deal with Syariah lawyers to organise the release of my Mom’s funds and property. My brothers and I are potentially faced with a 6 figure debt in which my stepfathers want no part of. So is this stressful? If I wasn’t as strong as my own mother, yes, I would be ill by now. Some people might even be suicidal. Mentally, I have no issues but physically, with this level of stress, in normal circumstances, I would definitely be ill. But now, I owe it to the Izumio Hydrogen water to keep me going.

As an aside, if you have been following this blog, my beloved Mother passed away finally after a long battle with cancer almost 2 weeks ago. I will write about that later.

So now with Ebola in Malaysia, despite my heart disease, heck, I want to protect myself as much as possible as I have 2 young children!! And I want to be able to spend as much time with them as possible right up to the time they have their own children!!

Here is the link for more information on Ebola if you are interested.

One of the things that will help your immunity is to drink Izumio Hydrogen water. I swear by it. I have seen with my own eyes how it has cured severe eczema and a friend was cured of shingles, and it is also supposed to be able to cure gangrene from diabetes and cure breast cancer. It has given me a new lease of energetic life. When one gets Ebola, the most critical thing that the hospital first does is to hydrate the body in abundance and if your body is weak, well, chances are you won’t have much of a chance. But with the Izumio Hydrogen water consumed regularly, it will convert all free radicals within my body to be as healthy as it can be so in the bad luck event that I have a chance in contracting the dreaded virus, at least I stand a chance in fighting it. I’d much rather be the 50% that survives than the 50% that dies.

Have you ever thought about Ebola in Malaysia? The world is so borderless today that these are very real issues that we now face.

Bugslock Mozzie Bands – Malaysia Bugslock

We have had trouble sourcing for the best mosquito repellents in Malaysia and have had very little luck so much so that I’ve just accepted it to be the way of life in Malaysia until now. Thankfully, Bugslock Malaysia contacted us to to test out their Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band last week and usually, I turn down such offers because I am just way busy but I thought this was a worthy item to investigate and my girls said yes!

They were thrilled to receive their Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band in their favourite colours in the post last week and wanted to test them out straight away. Such eager beavers, my girls……

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We decided to test drive the Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band at my Mom’s place because that area is infested with mosquitoes due to the nearby construction happening. If the Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band can keep them safe there, they can keep them safe anywhere, including the Teluk Intan Jungle Cemetery that we go to, deep, deep inside the jungle with hungry, deprived mosquitoes.

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They went cycling excitedly without fear…..

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So far so good after half an hour………

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They then proceeded to the resident playground where I received 7 mosquitoes glued to my shin ALL AT ONCE!!! I should have taken a photo but I freaked out and started hitting them frantically. Smacked quite a few as they were probably hungry and quite slow. I immediately paid attention to the girls to check how they were doing mozzie-wise and true enough……

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T2 has ONE bite. One miserable bite whilst I had like 20!!! And her bite happened to be on the back of the hand that did not wear the Bugslock Mozzie Band. In this case, I would say that the Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band works in very bad mosquito conditions but you need to wear one band each on each limb. I will definitely buy more bands so they have 4 bands each and then I will know they are guaranteed to be safe from mosquitoes.

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T1 had no mozzie bites at all but maybe because she was moving more than T2.

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So in that entire hour outdoors in Mozzie Death Valley, we only received about 20 mozzie bites on Mommy (because I did not have a Bugslock Mozzie Band!!!) and one bite on T2, who wore her Bugslock Mozzie Band on the hand which did not get bitten.

Would I recommend the product? Absolutely. Just make sure you wear 4 x Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band, one on each wrist and one on each ankle. And I can almost be sure that you will not get bitten. Unless they are good enough to get to your forehead!!!

Be mindful though, that there are many imitation Bugslocks in the market. Although the imitation Bugslock price is cheaper, it is ineffective and may even be harmful to your kids because it may contain chemicals. Authentic Bugslock have certification by the Korea Environment & Merchandise Testing Institute to prove that they are harmless and Bugslock is also registered under the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Apparently, there are many sellers selling fake (made in China) Bugslocks through the internet and even on very well known deal sites with low price. However, if you want the real deal, then go only to the ORIGINAL BUGSLOCK WEBSITE to own your first 4 Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band today!

 

Uncle Ben moving to Chiangmai

Yes, it is true. Uncle Ben is moving to Chiangmai. What does this mean? This means he will be taking along with him the classic electric guitar with him but of course! I’m not sure which he loves more, his guitar or his wife? Kidding!!! He already has a house in Chiangmai and we have warned him that future visits to Chiangmai by us will be AT HIS HOUSE. We don’t mind sleeping on the floor as long as we have a blanket and pillows. Now I cannot wait to visit Chiangmai again…..

My Wake Up Call……

For the longest time, I’ve lived my life for others because life has been so good for me that I always felt undeserving, so I pass it on instead, every blessing that I can, because there are so many others out there who need help, and I have almost always been in a capacity to help. I am truly blessed. I may not have billions like Ananda Krishnan but I have more than enough in every way. Our lifestyle is moderate (I realise this is all relative) and even though the Hubs earns more, our lifestyle does not change. We have a benchmark and it will remain as that for the next 20 years. It is already a very comfortable benchmark.

And then I got my wake up call……..

Last week I spent 3 full days in hospital. The previous year I was in for a week with a cancer scare and it was the scariest time of my life!!! THAT didn’t wake me up though and although I was truly scared and did not tell a single soul short of one, I pulled through that incident. Last week though, was even scarier!!! I was crying my eyeballs out!!! For a week!!!

I was diagnosed with Aortic Valve Regurgitation. WTF is that? I didn’t have a freaking clue but all I know is that there was something wrong with my freaking heart. Not very comforting, I can tell you!!! It is a type of heart disease and what it means is I have to wake up and consider my life seriously because I will probably live less long of a life than someone without heart disease. BUT I can live a richer life in that shorter time. How’s that?

I cried to Heaven and back because I have two young children who are closer to me than my own heart itself. My children are no fools and they saw that I was affected, and they cried with me. We prayed and we prayed and we asked God for another chance. I got rid of all the demons in my life, peppered them with a dose of true love and wished them my best farewell……

I reassessed my life true and through and decided to cut out facebook, the very bane of productive time in the very first place. I shall re-focus on what is important. My wake up call is real this time. And I am truly thankful for it. The Universe and God has given me another chance and I am going to grab it by it’s horns and charge forth.

Hello new life! Bye-Bye old life……

So what is Aortic Valve Regurgitation?

From what I understand, it is the leaking of blood back into your heart when your heart pumps good oxygenated blood into your body. Most people have the more common Mitral Valve Regurgitation but I just HAVE to have the opposite. When I told my Doctor friends, they looked at me with genuine concern. Emotionally, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time but hey, I have bounced back!!! THAT QUICK!!! Damn, I love my positive spirit.

So with all heart conditions, it’s kind of hit or miss. But heck, you never know when you’re going to go anyway, right? Look at my Mom!!! She has survived FOURTEEN YEARS of that fucking evil cancer!!! Based on genetic composition of strength of steel, I reckon I’m real good. When God wants me to go, I will readily go. Fearless. Why? Because we are now prepared after this wake up call. My wake up call. We have discussed it, assessed it, gotten prepared for it. Yes, I am indeed efficient. Waste no more time in such things after learning from my MIL’s sudden death. I am happy with how the Hubs will manage the girls if I were to go suddenly. They were my number one priority. And although they may lose a mother, I know that they will be well taken care off thus am prepared to go in peace. Thank you God, for this chance of living longer. Every breathe that I take each morning now will be greeted with absolute gratitude. Such a refreshing lease on life that I am blessed with.

Strangely, I have not shared this with my friends prior to this but I shared it with someone neutral who then told all the people who were not my friends, but that’s inconsequential. They then went back to ask my friends who didn’t have a clue what they were on about and then of course, I got back worried questions about my painful bleeding heart. All I can say is, if you can laugh about my condition, you can laugh about anything! So yeah, this was my wake up call………..

LAUGH AWAY!!!!!!!!

Barbie, Oh Barbie!!!

Sigh. I caved. For the longest time, I’d pledged that my kids will never play with Barbie because I never did and I am against commercialism so when my youngest, T2, showed a real interest in the pinkness world of that superhero doll, I just didn’t have the heart to deny her that happiness.

So for her 5th birthday, she finally got some Barbie. In fact, she had a birthday party for the first time ever and received a whole collection of Barbies!!! I don’t have to say a lot as the pictures show themselves……

Happy Birthday, T2. I know how much you love Barbie……since you say you are a big girl now and only small girls play with baby dolls and big girls play with Barbie. Now who brainwashed you into that?!

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Slowly unraveling her Barbie treasure from the Barbie bag……

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Kisses to Mommy or Mattel, T2?? BOTH!!

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And she didn’t forget her sister, because she needed her to help open the Barbie toy for her!

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Waiting anxiously………

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OHhhhh! I’m SO excited, Mommy!!!

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Mommy, look! It says TM, Che-Che’s name! It should be TN, my name!

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TadaaaaAAAAA!!!!!!

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Reading the instructions…….

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And Barbie play begins!

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Mama, I have a Barbie iron!

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They spent a few hours on Barbie ironing clothes and print ons as the set was an ironing print on set……

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Teamwork

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We did it!!!

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Continuing her Barbie play…..

So yeah, we’ve succumbed to the Barbie world. This does not mean we will be collecting all things Barbie! Hell, no. I am not a toy advocate, remember? But thank you, Barbie, for making my precious little ones days brighter. Thank you so much. She does get good play out of Barbie and truly enjoys herself whilst playing.

My Mother-in-Law passed away suddenly

Yes, that’s right. 20 days ago, my mother-in-law passed away suddenly. It was a shock to the Hubs and I and the shock was so surreal that we couldn’t cry as we couldn’t really believe it. And still when we took that first flight home to Kelantan, rushed to her home from the airport with a taxi since my Father-in-Law was already busy making funeral arrangements, then rushed upstairs to see her body lying on her bed, still we couldn’t cry. It wasn’t real. She was just sleeping. We were asked to kiss her goodbye one last time as it was the only chance we got to touch her before they embalmed her and put her into her coffin. It was the first time I’d ever seen nor touched a dead body and in normal circumstances I would have been terrified but not that day. My heart missed her terribly already.

Fast forward a lot of prayers, the nightly guarding of the altar and visits to the temple and cremation, we are finally home in KL for a breather. We even managed a quick steal to Perhentian for a getaway from it all. Life is so precious indeed. I need not even mention it but those of you who are still angry, who are still pissed off with someone or other? Get over it. Waste not a second more in experiencing a beautiful life ahead of you and treasure with your utmost passion, your loved ones.

Those of you who are Muslim, please, I ask of you to pray for my Mother. Her name is Elena Gabriel Binti Abdullah. If you have a father or husband or brother, who prays at the mosque, can you please ask them to ask the Imam to pray for her too.

If you are NOT Muslim, please, can I also ask you to pray for her? Her pre-convert name is Elaine Maria Gabriel. I don’t care about names and religion. To me, she is the same amazing person and deserves all the prayers in the world to fight this disease and evil. So if you go to Church, please I beg you, please ask the Priest to pray for her too. Get a pen and write her name down now. I thank you humbly.

Just last week, she asked for a big fat straw. Odd request? I knew that she’d been on a liquid diet for the last year drinking only milk so why did she want a big straw versus a small normal straw? To drink faster?

So I asked.

Apparently, her mouth is filled with the cancer growth left, right and back and her mouth senses are literally screwed so whenever she puts her medicine into her mouth, she has no idea where it goes and has no control over it. With a big straw, she is able to suck the pills one by one straight into the back of her throat after which she can just gulp down with a sip of water. Her mouth feels knives slitting every part of her mouth. It is only a matter of time when the cancer blocks her entire throat and she won’t be able to swallow anything and would then have to be tube fed.

Being on fluids alone for a year plus has made her look like a famine victim in Ethiopia. She wears her baggy clothes all the time but I can see how she is literally all skin and bones. Not kidding.

Bless her strength. I do not think I will have the will to suffer like this in her position, not even for my 2 girls. I don’t know. I think. But you never know. My Mother is the strongest person I have ever known personally. Do you know anyone stronger? Come show me.

I have asked my dearly departed Mother-in-Law to please care for my Mother from above and keep her well for as long as possible. She truly deserves another chance at life.

The Homeschooling Hub Malaysia

So! I’ve started a new Facebook group on duh, Facebook, that has been growing quite nicely called the Homeschooling Hub Malaysia. It is for the benefit of the parenting community which shares our Homeschooling activities and ideas and going ons about town. Come join us if you’d like to know what we get up to. It’s not just for Homeschoolers per se as all children to me are entitled to lots of fun. And that is exactly what we practise at Home in our learning exercises.

Come join us at Homeschooling Hub Malaysia. We’d love for you to participate in our discussions.

See you soon!

Plus Size Women Wear

For the last few years, I’ve had to search for plus size women wear – WTF. In the past I could get stuff only from M&S and Ms Read but soon after, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis and Warehouse came along (yay!) and Zara started bringing bigger sizes as well; but still to dress from 5 stores only? BCBG and DVF do sometimes bring in XL sizes so thank God for that too. Now there is www.junonia.com. Well, let’s hope I won’t be needing plus size women wear forever!

Forest Fun Park in Zermatt

Forest Fun Park in Zermatt is an Adventure Camp that we discovered in Zermatt, a really fun activity for T1. Earlier, we were advised by a friend to go here when we came but we were initially due in Zermatt in March for the skiing though as luck would have it, the Hubs couldn’t get his leave approved so we had to postpone the entire fucking holiday and I was so pissed, not to mention all my organisation work down the drain for a winter holiday. After that disappointing saga, we re-scheduled the holiday and even thought of giving up Europe altogether and going to the States instead for a road trip but the Hub’s sis said it was way too hot in the US, so we decided to re-plan for Europe. It was difficult as we were crossing various temperature and had to pack for cold and hot in exactly May/June/July – we were there for 34 days.

Forest Fun Park cost about CHF16 per entry for kids (that’s about RM65) and each circuit lasts about an hour. T1 did it twice and of course, crashed like a log that evening. It is opened from 10am to 7pm in the summer months but please check their website or facebook page before relying on my information. This is info when WE were there this year.

I liked that the guy manning the forest fun park was a hunky Swiss – YUM!!! And I would have gone with T1 just for him but T2 couldn’t go and she requested for me to stay back at the resort with her so the Hubs took T1 instead.

The Swiss are big on safety and precision, what do you expect, after all they are watch makers of the world!!!

T1 got belted up real good and my comfort level with them including the maintenance for the equipment were comforting, unlike those locally. Heh.

The kids obstacle course was about tree height only at highest level and about 6 feet off the ground for lower level stuff.

It was a big circuit that ran through buildings, in between trees and over/beside the river (yikes!).

This holding onto the building wall walk must’ve been tough!!! Even adults can do the Forest Fun Park in Zermatt but of course, there is an entirely new circuit for the adults that is wayyyyyy higher and wayyyyy longer and wayyyy spookier!!!! I can just imagine Dolly Parton doing this wall walk. She’d need some very strong arms as my A-Level Physics Lessons have taught me.

The air was fresh and the wind was just nice, not too cold, not too hot. Perfect.

There was an awesome Flying Foz at the Forest Fun Park that ran from the top where the hut was and flew right down to the ground. I think T1 fell on her bum-bum. Ouch. But it’s so bouncy that it wouldn’t have mattered.

She was very brave according to the Hubs, enough to do the circuit twice just to do it a little faster. After all, the first time is a tad scary as you familiarise yourself with the course.

It was just beautiful doing this amidst the Matterhorn view and the hills everywhere with skiiers going up in their cable cars. If you ever go to Zermatt, you must check this Forest Fun Park out. It is really fun!!!

A musical performed by the Homeschoolers

A musical performed by the Homeschoolers. Get your tickets NOW!!!

I think of the last 7 months that the kids have been rehearsing. I think of the parents who have had to drive them for rehearsals. I think of the daily performances they have to act out from 9 Aug-22 Aug and again the parents who are committed to allowing their children to participate and experience the whole shebang of stage production, and I must, must MUST support them!!!

Happy Birthday to my Little T2!!!

My girl turns 5 today and the first thing she asked when she woke up was, “Is it really my birthday today? Am I 5 years old now? How come my feet aren’t really big yet?”

Damn, I think she’s eyeing them Chanel heels.

Sagging Tits

I just got home from a meeting and was shocked to find the kids still awake at 10pm. Asked the Hubs what was going on and he said he didn’t want to have a battle that’d only end in tears to sleep. I ignored them and went straight to the bathroom, stripped and sat down for a pee.

T2 walks in and watches me. Then she says, “Mama….?? Why is it when you take off all your clothes, your boob-boobs falls down so low from here to here?” With hand actions and all, she asked innocently…..

Stunned, I replied,“Cuz you freaking sucked the living daylights out of me!!! That’s why!!!”

Realising my tone of voice, she quickly made a getaway out of the washroom. Sagging tits indeed.

Shish!!!!

The night before her Birthday

The night before her birthday, n bed with T2…….

Mommy, is it really my birthday tomorrow? Are you sure? Are you really, really sure???? And I’m really going to be five years old?? I can’t WAIT to be five years old. Mommy, are you sure it’s my birthday tomorrow? Like when I wake up and I will be five already?? I want to be a big girl!! I can’t wait. Are you really, really sure?? It’s my birthday tomorrow, right?

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Will you please just go to sleep!!!

Loyalty – NOT!!

The Hubs was moaning that he felt like the maid these last 4 days as he had to do EVERYTHING for his 3 girls. Even to hydrate us, he had to go get us water or none of us will drink anything. We are THAT lazy. Yadayadayada……

I told T2 when the Hubs left the bedroom to get water, “I think we better start helping Daddy out, T2. He sounds fed up and may just quit and run away. Then we will have no more Daddy.”

T2 goes, “Aiya….we just go and buy a new Daddy la!!”

Shock! Horror! I asked her, what if we don’t get a Daddy as nice as this Daddy?!!!! Shit. I could certainly NOT do with another Daddy and nor do I WANT another Daddy. This is the Daddy I married and he is our BEST DADDY!!!

She said, “Don’t worry. Then we just buy and buy and buy till we get a good one.”

I can assure you the Hubs was not amused that he was so easily replaceable yet he could not stay angry at any of his girls. It’s a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Guitar Deals

I must tell my guitar crazed brother about the lowest price on guitar equipment since he is mad about being the next Led Zeppelin or ACDC lead guitarist. Hahaha. He dreams but I am behind him all the way. For it always starts with a dream, doesn’t it? If you are interested in guitar deals, look no further and you will find it when you least expect it. Kind of searching for that special someone!

Barbie in Malaysia

OMG!!!!!!!!!!! For 10 years I have had 2 girls and have always resisted Barbie but now that T2 is turning 5 in a week, she is asking for everything BARBIE!!!! I kid you not. The heave in my heart is heavy, my eyeballs are bulging, my mouth opened in shock and my brain spinning a million why’s…………….Barbie in Malaysia, yo! Barbie in Kebaya?

She has not asked for Barbie at all but since she is having a little party (her first ever birthday party, mind you), she has been asked about 10 times now what she would like for her birthday and she has responded with ANYTHING SMALL AND PINK, or ANYTHING BARBIE. So I said, what if you get a dozen Barbie dolls????????????

She said, “NOOOOOoooooooo………I don’t want Barbie dolls!!! I want anything BARBIE!!!! Like the Barbie House, or the Barbie laptop, Barbie car, Barbie Lego…….not Barbie dolls!!!”

*TRIPLE FAINT*

Anyway, my treat to her this year is that she will get to meet Barbie in Malaysia. Yes, the REAL BARBIE. Didn’t you know? Barbie is coming to Malaysia soon in August. She’s going to be at Mid Valley or One Utama on different days (details later). But can you imagine T2 meeting THE real Barbie???

LOLOLOLOLOL!!!! She’d be THRILLED!!!!

And my eyeballs are rolling over at 5000 kmph. Are you sure you’re my daughter, my darling T2??? Because I love you so much, I will succumb to your love for Barbie.

It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase……

Barbie in Malaysia. I asked T2, what about your baby dolls??? Don’t you like your baby dolls? They are so cute and so precious! 

“No, Mama. I’m a big girl now. I’m 5 years old and big girls play with Barbie not baby dolls. I don’t like the baby doll’s eyebrows anymore……..”

O_o

 

Homeschooling Malaysian Style

This year I got very brave upon the blessings of a dear friend and ventured towards Homeschooling my girls Malaysian Style. What does that mean really? Honestly, in the past 7 months, our homeschooling journey has evolved so much that this year, 2014, must be one of our most interesting years ever. Ever!!!

We started off the year Homeschooling Malaysian Style by having a set timetable of working seriously 3-5 hours a day replicating the school syllabus and time table but at home. This lasted all of almost 2 months with a lot of extra-curricular activities made possible with all the extra time. Then the next few months were spent on a downward spiral dwindling into nothingness because I really couldn’t arsed to monitor my kids progress. Seriously, who has the time. I actually have a real job in the real world, thank you very much. That pays real money too, thank God!!!

Though we did less school stuff, the girls got to play a lot, swim a lot and just do whatever they felt like doing every day. Simple life pleasures. I remember T1 baking a lot and well, they just had to get creative by themselves because they were just bored of being bored!

Then we went for our 1 month traveling expedition which was really all part of our homeschooling intention. Actually our round the world travel will be an ongoing homeschooling mission until the day we can no longer afford to go anywhere. Travel is THE best education. I kid you not. You do not need a lot of money seriously. Even going to Rawang, you will find plenty to do, plenty to see, plenty to learn, if you allow yourself to. Our Homeschooling Malaysian Style journey will also include our internal travel in Malaysia adventures for sure. We aspire to sell Malaysia really well to the world as we believe we have so much to offer here in our BEAUTIFUL country!!!

After Europe, our Homeschooling Malaysian Style journey suddenly picked up with a variety of activities shared with other like minded families and it just got richer and richer and T1 started falling in love with Homeschooling. She had found a group of friends, good buddies both boys and girls, that she could relate to. They were older by a year or two, but she clicked with them just great. They have since together performed experiments together, presented to each other their ideas, performed debates, gone on field trips, definitely an interesting ride this past few weeks so much so that T1 dropped the bomb on me this morning…….

She said she wanted to Home school indefinitely instead of going back to school. This was after begging me for the last 4 months to send her back to school. The Hubs had already budgeted a ridiculous sum of money to send both kids back to school next year due to the double year that the school is having as they are transitioning from the Malaysian school calendar to the British school calendar so 2 annual school fees in a year. I cannot express my facial expressions regarding this and question all the time if sending them back to school is a good idea. The return on investment just seems uncertain but the Hubs believes that the girls, HIS girls deserve the best in education and he believes that the school can give them a good all rounded challenging yet enjoyable school life, which is what he had. Actually, I had a bloody good time at school too. And we are fortunate to be able to afford it.

I cannot help wondering though that Homeschooling Malaysian Style might just be the way to go now that we’ve found our footing with the Homeschooling community in Malaysia. They are such fabulous people. The ones I have met anyway. Always inspiring, ever helpful and forever encouraging. Actually the kind of qualities that I would like my girls to inculcate.

SO I had a seriously long chat with my 9 year old daughter who is now doing Year 6 Math (her same class at school now are all doing Year 6 work anyway, they are just a year or two older) and she’s also done a Cambridge Year 7 paper (that’s Secondary School Form 1!!!) and scored 100% on it; so you can see the maturity and capability of this young girl who is able to perhaps assess her options and make some serious decisions. Maybe?

She says she would want to do her iGCSEs and go to University but for now wants to Home school but I told her that in order to do that, I might need to hire her individual private tutors to see her through the exams in a few years time and that would cost much more than school. Double!! Right now, she has private tutors for her languages and it is already costing close to her school fees and it’s only for an hour a week. CRAZINESS. But well worth it. She is learning a lot and most importantly keeping up with the real school pace and yet gets to party outside of school. I do keep asking myself though, is it necessary? What for? Can she just learn anything at her own pace and/or do nothing?

But knowing how lazy she is, I don’t think she’d get very far with disciplining herself to get any real work done if she is planning to take the iGCSEs. She’s a lot like me. I’m the laziest ass on the block. Study? Puhleeeeeeeeze. I always just did the minimum required and had the best time. If I had been Homeschooled Malaysian Style, perhaps my interest would have been captured but seriously, how much of what I learnt at school is now applicable to my life? I am not very clever but I am considered relatively successful due to pure luck. No connections, just sincerity and hard work. Anyone can do it and you don’t need school, just a passion for whatever you do. So is school necessary?

To get them out of my hair? Yes. The real education that will bring them to the level that they desire to make a lifelong living? I really do not have the answer. School or no school? Home school or not? At school, you have the dynamics of daily school life that involve many personalities and characters, you inculcate discipline and are forced to practise your manners daily, you have to interact and communicate with everyone daily which offers a lot of practice, you have large scale team activities such as the many performances that the school produces and projects that they get involved with, it is a lot of fun but so structured and of course, there are the damned exams and the not so creative teachers.

Homeschooling Malaysian Style? Freedom to do whatever the hell you want. Having loads of fun learning in the most creative ways which makes for more meaningful learning, lots more time to absorb important things, self governance, but it takes effort for the parent to expose new things to the child. I don’t have that kind of energy…..

Alas, I will get back to you after praying about it. Homeschooling Malaysian Style. Loving it.

The Girl who is SO Loved

Many people who see our little family now always assume that Daddy has a favourite and that his favourite girl is T2. Little do they know though that as much as everyone thinks that T2 is the spoilt darling daughter, T1 has had ALL our attention for an entire 5 years. She was given a hundred times more in every way, much, much more than her little sister. In fact, Daddy used to rock her for 3 straight hours when she was a baby right up to when she was a toddler every time Mama had to go out. She had an iron will and would cry REALLY LOUD NON STOP, one of the reasons why Daddy is slightly deaf today. He really loves his T1. I know he does, so, so much.

We love T2 too, of course. And they are so, so different, my two girls. They both have wonderful characteristics and eccentric personalities, they’re both fun and cheerful yet can get temperamental like any woman, they love with passion and gosh, I do love them with my entire heart, soul and body. And so does Daddy. In fact, he loves us three. And we love him.

If anything, I am comforted that there is just so much love in our little family that we will always be able to count on one another, even with their little spats between them. I stress to them all the time, that they are sisters forever and will have to take care of each other when Mama and Dada are no longer here. It is their responsibility, their legacy, their MUST DO. And they have already promised me that they will, despite the fights. I have told them that they will always have each other and must always be there for one another hence one of the reasons why I insist they share a room. There’s nothing like being sisters, something I never had the chance to have but I now have friends as my true sisters. Where borders are crossed and trust is infinite. It’s different with brothers…….though of course, I love my brothers with my life.

So yeah, T1 is so, so, SO, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LOVED. She’s such a lucky, LUCKY girl.

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Of course, a trip to Paris would not be complete without getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris! Actually, since I’ve already been several times, there really wasn’t a need for me to pay money to go up again and seriously, if my girls had not been interested in going up the Eiffel Tower, then I really wouldn’t have. But they were! They have been wanting to go up the Eiffel Tower, Paris since forever! T1 says it’s because it’s a tower and it’s so high up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, so we went. We couldn’t get the online tickets that were perhaps cheaper as Mama is always very last minute with these sort of things. And then when we were there in Paris, since we lived beside  the Eiffel Tower, every time we passed by it, there were snaking queues to buy tickets. S.H.I.T.

Ding Dong Ding Dong, we finally picked a random day. Tuesday it was, for us to go up the Eiffel Tower and we decided to wake up early to go. Our early meant 10am. Heh. But bless the Lord, when we went, there was no queue. I kid you not. At 10am on a Tuesday morning early June, there was no queue. So happily and easily we bought our tickets and took the several lifts up. The process going up itself took 45 minutes. There was no queue buying the tickets downstairs but there was a slight queue upstairs after you went through the first lift! But all in all, still good time for going up the tower of romance in Paris. It was extremely windy not to mention chilly up there so of course, the girls loved it.

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It wasn’t super crowded atop the Eiffel Tower but man, it was WINDY!!! Just check out our hair out of place! We had neatly tied hair when we left our room just a 5 minute walk away.

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The necessary I love you kiss atop the Eiffel Tower, Paris.

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It’s just nice observing the view atop the tower of romance but just as nice walking around it and observing the tower itself from all areas of Paris. I took photos of it everywhere we went and caught a view of it. Paris……….the city of love. I am so in love with Paris. Just something about the air………the culture, the lifestyle, the love. After visiting quite a few many cities around the world, including all the major ones and some quaint ones, I still am in love with Paris. It must just be a sentimental love affair I have. And now I’ve gotten my whole family hooked on Paris too.

Je’taime……..

Malaysians at The Louvre

The Louvre is one of the largest art museums in the world and of course, us Malaysians had to go there despite going with 2 kids. Actually, it was T1 who wanted to go, Good Lord. I’ve already been and was not looking forward to it at all because once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, yes? The reason she wanted to go in was to see the Mona Lisa real life after watching Mr Peabody and learning about the Mona Lisa and Leonardo Da Vincci. So you know what she did after we fought an hour with bloody China tourists who hogged the space directly in front of the Mona Lisa? On an aside, these China tourists are really a pain in the arse. A group of them kept taking pictures of themselves for half an hour and just would not budge. I finally spoke up and asked if I could have like ONE photo and then they could go back to their power spot after waiting for the dozen people before the China Chinese came to hog the Mona Lisa. Where was I? Oh, T1 walked the entire 180 degrees from left to right of the Mona Lisa to test the theory that she was watching you wherever you were and it turned out to be true. What an amazing piece of work. Her eyes really do follow you. Spooky shit.

So us Malaysians at the Louvre just had to do this too…..though my kids weren’t too enthusiastic and just wanted to run to the Tuilleries Playground. So inconsiderate!

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In order to please Mommy……

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After 10 shots of T2 attempting to please Mommy, we still couldn’t get it right. Mommy gave up. That’s what happens when you get a 4+ years old to do something detailed and specific :-p She just kept moving and moving and moving. Fail.

In applaud to my girls, they walked the entire Louvre. Not without whinging of course, but they did it. Their legs dropped off but found their way back miraculously when it was time to trampoline jump at the Tuilleries Garden. Kids.

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